At the end of March, Marlins de Miami y Sinclair Broadcast Group announced a multi-year local television rights contract. The specific terms and duration of the deal were not disclosed at the time, but famed Miami Herald journalist Barry Jackson now reports that it is. a seven year agreement that pays little more than $ 50 million a year.
The parties’ previous deal averaged in the neighborhood of $ 18MM, Jackson notes, paying the Marlins a league minimum of $ 20MM last season:
While the average annual value of $ 50 + MM represents a significant increase over the previous contract, it is not an unexpected figure. Popular SportsGrid reporter Craig Mish reported last month that the new local rights deal paid “substantially more than double” the annual salary of its predecessor over a period of more than six years.
In January 2020, Jackson reported that the Marlins turned down a 2017 offer from Sinclair that would have paid more than $ 50 million annually. The Marlins had hoped to secure around $ 60MM per season on the new contract, Jackson reports, but the intervening COVID-19 pandemic appears to have made that goal unattainable.
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It’s unclear when or to what extent the new TV deal will affect the Marlins’ payroll. Importantly, there is also no indication of the specific breakdown of payments. TV rights deals are often delayed.
It would not be surprising if that is the case here, particularly with the pandemic as the backdrop to the negotiations. The Marlins have slashed their player roster quite a bit in recent years, opening 2021 with an estimated $ 56.9MM outlay ranking 28th across the league, based on Cot’s baseball contracts.